Strength Training for Women

I know this girl. She used to go the gym 5 days a week. Alternating cardio machines for 90 mins. She wasn’t overweight. But neither was she “toned” as she desired. She was skinny & fat.

Yes that exists: skinny & fat. That’s how you become when you don’t give your body the nutrition it needs for recovery. Your body burns muscles & holds fat.

I told her once to get into strength training & eat more healthy. But I got the classic response: “I don’t want to end up bulky & muscular like a man”.


You Won’t Get Bulky.
Remember: your bodyweight depends on the amount of calories you eat & expend. Strength training will make you gain muscle & lose fat. But you’ll stay at the same bodyweight unless you start eating more.

Women have lower testosterone levels than men. Muscle mass & strength depend on your testosterone levels. The only way women can get as muscular as man is by using steroids or pro-hormones.


CrossfitBenefits for Women. I wrote about the reasons to starts strength training in the past. They’re the same for women:

  • Less Fat. More muscles, decreased body fat at the same bodyweight.
  • Balanced Physique. Many women are skinny in the upperbody & bulky in their legs. Strength training will balance your physique.
  • Increased Bone Density. Lifting weights prevents osteoporosis.
  • Blood Circulation. Helps combat cellulites on thighs & glutes.
  • More strength. Pregnancy, holding baby, householdery,… gets easier.
  • Fun. Women really like sports from my experience, especially when they have fun while getting results.
  • Physical Activity. Whether it is strength training or something else: you need physical activity to stay “sane”.


How Women Should Train.
Same as men. Same exercises. Same sets & reps. Same programs. If your goal is toning up & losing fat, strength is your tool.

Focus on getting stronger on the Squat, Bench Press, Deadlift, Overhead Press & Pull-up. Get on the beginner strength training program.


Women’s Results.
The difference in testosterone levels will influence the results you’ll achieve as a woman. In general:

  • Increased muscle mass. But less than a man.
  • Decreased body fat. 16% for women is the same as 10% for men.
  • Increased strength. But again less than a man.

In terms of physique, look at the women at CrossFit. Example picture top right: Annie. They’re athletic, in shape & not bulky. Their secret is simple: training hard, consistently & eating healthy.

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